Turkish-Japanese friendship comes to silver screen
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyThe touching story of the Ertuğrul Frigate, which sank in 1890 in the coast off Japan, and the rescue of 215 Japanese citizens during the Iran-Iraq war in 1985 upon the order of the Turkish prime minister of the time, Turgut Özal, was launched at a press conference held at the Yıldız Palace Theater on April 28 in Istanbul.
Culture and Tourism Ministry Undersecretary Haluk Dursun spoke about Yıldız Palace and its importance to the Ertuğrul Frigate.
He said insistently emphasized the artistic side of the film, adding, “At a time of hostility in the world, what should be emphasized in this film is the great struggle of people, who have never seen each other, for humanity.”
Stating the film should not be considered a Turkish-Japanese project only, Dursun said, “It is a delayed humanity project and should be a model for others. I emphasized the humanity side but our friendship with the Japanese people should be emphasized, too. We see mutual understanding in this project.”
He said that after seeing the film, other nations would start seeking such projects in common on behalf of humanity.
Decision made in Yıldız Palace
Japanese Ambassador to Ankara Yukato Yokoi said he was happy to hold the meeting in Yıldız Palace, the place where the Ertuğrul Frigate’s travel route was decided. “This is why it made me happy to hold this meeting here,” he added.
He said that 125 years had passed since the accident and 30 years had passed since the Iran-Iraq war. “I hope we will take steps towards a new friendship,” he said.
Speaking of the film process, Yokoi said, “I hope that after watching the film, the people of both countries will be proud of their citizens. Again, thanks to this film, we will be able to show the devotion, kindness and courage of people to the world.”
Director Mitsubishi Tanaka and actors Shioli Kutsuna, Mehmet Özgür, Kenan Ece, Melis Babadağ and Murat Serezli were also present at the meeting.
Filming for “Ertuğrul” started in December 2014 in Japan. The film is being produced by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry in collaboration with the Japanese Ertuğrul Film Partners and line producer Böcek Film.
The script was written by Eriko Komatsu with the consultancy of Professor İskender Pala. Istanbul and Antalya are the settings of the film in Turkey. The shooting is expected to end in May.